UAB Faculty Senate Meeting

October 9, 1998


Officers: Janet Bronstein - Chair, Tom Jannett - Chair-Elect, Elaine Whitaker - Secretary. Senators: Alexander, Baker, Burns, Elias, Davis, Dempsey, Farmer, Fleming, Greenup, Haeberle, Harrison, Kawai, Macaluso, Mikan, Paul, Rigney, Roseman, Smith, Spencer, Van Matre. Alternate Senators: Barnes, Capper, Cook, Heaven, Kirkpatrick (for Dimick), McCarl, Peel, Richardson, Slovensky, Wheatley, Worthington.

Faculty Chair Janet Bronstein called the meeting to order at 8:10 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Hill University Center. The minutes of September 11,1998, stood approved with the addition of the name of John Kirkpatrick as present. Drafts of Senate minutes will now be posted on the Senate Web site.


Janet Bronstein mentioned four items: (1) In the semester conversion process, faculty teaching loads are to be addressed at the School level by committees that include senators. (2) Although there was nothing to report from the Board of Trustees meeting on September 18, it was anticipated that their next meeting will include a two-year review of the Health System. (3) The first of two Pew Roundtables generated three issues: (a) the internal economic system at UAB including which monies are and are not fungible, (b) the nature of undergraduate students at UAB, and (c) how UAB relates to the city of Birmingham. (4) UAB has hired a new undergraduate enrollment manager who Janet Bronstein believes should address the Senate.

Doug Rigney reported on the programs, demographics, and challenges of the School of Engineering. It would be important for the School to have additional joint or individual, rather than cooperative, graduate programs.


Arts and Sciences Council by Ed Cook: Ed Cook summarized the discussion held by 90 faculty members of three Schools on October 2. A further meeting occurred between the Council and Provost on October 8. At this meeting, the Council reached general consensus that there was a broad fear of change; they also learned about new funding that may be available to specific units. The Provost presented his list of pros and cons and discussed various alternatives. A second meeting of this group will occur on October 13.

Faculty Affairs by Colin Davis: Colin Davis announced that the committee would attempt to create a broad statement on merit pay and that it was the position of his committee that administrative evaluations should be published both on the Senate Web site and in The Reporter the next time that they are done. This position drew several questions as to whether disclosure would violate university policy. He clarified the committee's desire to offer only numerical data, not individual comments. John Kirkpatrick insisted that the discussion reflect the goals of these evaluations. Janet Bronstein asked for a comprehensive written report from this committee to both the Senate and the administration.

Finance by Stuart Capper: The committee will hold an important meeting on October 14 to discuss the roles and goals for a subcommittee that will confer with administrators about the role of the Senate in the university budget process.

FPPC by Janet Bronstein for Fred Trawick: The Employee UAB-related Foreign Travel Policy was brought to the floor for a final vote. Following questions, the policy was approved on a vote of 17 to 5.

Two additional committee reports occurred. Richard Harrison, who represents the Senate on an ad hoc committee for the Higher Education Partnership, described the meeting he had attended and informed the Senate that Wayne Echols would like to be invited to as many faculty meetings as possible prior to the November election. Tom Jannett reported on system-wide planning activities focused on (a) distributive education/distance learning, (b) relationships with two-year colleges, and (c) cooperation between units of the system.


Colin Davis presented the report of the joint meeting of the Faculty Affairs and Curriculum and Research committees. The joint document contained five points regarding semester conversion. He focused the discussion on points three (preferring a M/W and T/TH class schedule) and four (preferring a 15-week semester over a 13-week one). Initial remarks about semester conversion concerned the reasons for exemption of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Optometry. Hank McCarl querried whether a real difference existed between a 13-week semester excluding final examinations and a 15-week semester that included finals. James Alexander spoke in favor of the joint report, citing several reasons for his position. No one present was willing to speak in favor of three-day-per-week classes. Tom Jannett spoke in support of points 1 (expressing appreciation to the Semester Calendar Committee), 3, and 4 and moved adoption of these three as a resolution of the Senate. Debate continued after a resolution to extend the meeting by 15 minutes. Although a consensus in favor of the motion developed, two senators requested time to consult their constituencies, and one called for the competing proposals to be presented on paper. A motion to table was made by John Kirkpatrick, seconded by Kathy Mikan, and passed on a vote of 13 to 7.

There being no other business, Janet Bronstein adjourned the meeting at 10:07 a.m.